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Anu Thind is ready to become a community pharmacist

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As the winner of the University of Waterloo Pharmacy Coop Experience Award last year, Anu Thind, who is in the graduating class in the PharmD program at UW, exemplifies the student who goes above and beyond during their work terms and takes the initiative to implement and provide expanded pharmacy services.

By Anu Thind

During my second coop term at Credit Valley Hospital I was the venous thromboembolism pharmacy student, performing assessments of patients’ risks of bleeding against their risk of clotting, then making recommendations to the physician. I also reviewed patients’ medication charts and educated and counselled patients on the importance of increasing their mobility to help reduce the risk of clotting.

At the annual Shoppers Drug Mart Conference in 2014, I had the opportunity to be one of five pharmacy students who presented their work. I focused on my experience at the smoking cessation program at North Peel Family Health Team.

The smoking cessation program was a new intervention in the team, so there were few referrals from physicians. I took the initiative to educate the team on the pharmacist-led smoking cessation program to increase awareness among its members. However, enrollment was still limited.

I then moved forward to print out a list of a select group of smokers (over 1,000 patients) in the community and individually called each smoker to assess the smoking status and readiness to quit. I then booked appointments to bring patients in for initial consultations. I took it upon myself to expand the service to as many patients as possible.

Just this past summer I was working with a professor from our school, Dr. Michael Beazely, to create therapeutic chapters on illicit drugs for primary healthcare providers, focusing on cannabis. It was fascinating to assist in research development in this area.

My motivation to challenge myself to be the best I can be stems from my childhood. I was born in India, and came here when I was six months old. I am the eldest child in my family, which is a pressure of its own. One thing that inspired me to become a pharmacist was my father’s diabetes diagnosis. Witnessing the role of my father’s pharmacist inspired me to be a pharmacist who plays a critical role in maintaining a patient’s physical and emotional well-being. As a child, it was fascinating to see the role medications play in a person’s daily activities.

The pursuit of healthcare runs in my family. I have a younger sister who is currently in optometry school and a younger brother in grade 11 whose future is wide open. My mother is an ultrasound technologist. My family has always believed in the importance of education and pursuing higher education. Now at the age of 24 I am glad for the support I had growing up.

As for my future practice, it will definitely be in a community pharmacy with a focus on women’s health. My professional goal is to optimize care in menopausal women to improve their symptoms and quality of life. I can’t wait to embark on my journey in the world of pharmacy.